Irvine Pride (3-0) vs Tustin Thunder (2-1)
What an excellent decision for this game to have been chosen as the NJB Game of the Week! The Tustin Thunder entered the game 2-1 while the Irvine Pride looked to continue their perfect season at 3-0.
While the game started on the slow side, with good defense prevailing, both teams headed into the locker rooms at halftime with Irvine Pride leading Tustin Thunder 16-15.
Commenting on the first half of play the Tustin’s head coach Wes Shimabuku said, “We did not play very well so we need to come back and put good pressure on the ball. But to be only one down on not a good half is not bad, but I hope we can play a much better second half.”
Irvine’s head coach Pat Bagatourian stated, “This is the fourth time we have played this team in two weeks, so they know us pretty well, and it’s been hard to get off shots.”
That proved to be true in the 3rd quarter, as Tustin outscored Irvine 13-2! But never showing any sign of quit, Irvine fought back with strong defense and great teamwork to start the 4th quarter on a 10-0 run! Before we knew it we had a 2 point game with 3 minutes left. But 5 straight points by Tustin’s Arjun Menon #10, including a converted 3 point play, and an impressive blocked shot by Tustin’s Rees Pickell #6 with one minute left in regulation ended any hopes of an Irvine comeback.
Irvine Pride snaps their 3-game winning streak while the Tustin Thunder improves to 3-1 on the season. The Pride look to rebound next week versus RSM Legends, and the Thunder go on to take on Newport Mesa FBA 6.
Final Score: Irvine Pride 30, Tustin Thunder 37
Irvine Flames (6-0) vs RSM Blue (3-1)
The Irvine Flames and RSM Blue game was a very competitive, high-scoring affair. Although RSM threatened throughout, ultimately the Flames never relinquished the lead.
The game began with the Flames jumping out to an early 6-0 advantage. The Flames’ Tiffany Nguyen #23 handled back court pressure well with her good ball handling skills and crisp passing. It was a low scoring quarter with both teams feeling each other out.
The second quarter started much faster with Flames guard Shannon O’Malley #10 hitting a long two point shot from the wing. So far, the game has been pretty clean with not many fouls being committed by both teams. RSM answers back with Jillian Carr #24 making a shot from the block and another one from the free throw line. But just as RSM gains some momentum, Erika Maggard #22 of the Flames starts to heat up. She scores eight straight points and gives the Flames a 22-12 halftime lead.
The second half begins again with an RSM basket, this time by Alex Lemisansith #23. However, Erika Maggard picks up right where she left off and scores two more points in the paint. After a made basket by RSM, they begin to apply full court pressure, but Tiffany Nguyen and the Flames are able to break it quite easily.
The final quarter starts and RSM cuts the lead to eight. They have been within striking distance the entire game but can’t seem to get over the hump. The fourth quarter goes back and forth, but Maggard and the Flames keep their distance. Three consecutive blocks by the Maggard puts an exclamation mark on her performance.
RSM coach Mary Rossignol said she hoped for a little more physicality on defense from her girls but was impressed by their movement on offense. Flames coach John O’Malley said it was a competitive game highlighted by Erika Maggard and outside shouts by Shannon O’Malley. The final score was 37-29 in favor of the Flames. Maggard scored 17, leading all scorers.
Final Score: Irvine Flames 37, RSM Blue 29
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